I have said this all along the last three weeks, and I will continue to say it; the Ravens have been underestimated, and it is laughable to count out the defending Super Bowl champions at this time. Yes, their roster has changed, but to completely rule them out this early in the season like some have is a joke. Their resume speaks volumes, and they deserved the benefit of the doubt before the season started. But after Sunday’s convincing win, I’m sure there will be some who will think twice about doubting the Ravens prematurely again.
The Ravens dominating win on Sunday was filled with what the Ravens have been known for over nearly a decade, and a half. Dominate on defense, play good special teams and the offense will wear out the defense in the fourth quarter. The Ravens did all of that.
“I commend the football team for playing rock-solid football,” Ravens’ head coach John Harbaugh noted via Baltimoreravens.com. “For displaying the mental toughness it takes to beat a team of that caliber, to overcome a first quarter the way we did.”
It certainly shows a lot of character. It is the second week in a row at home where the Ravens had to overcome a six-point deficit in the first-half to go on and win. The Ravens’ defense, after allowing seven touchdowns in Week 1, haven’t allowed a touchdown since. We are starting to see the pass-rush between Terrell Suggs, and Elvis Dumervil is creating problems week in and week out. Rookie safety Matt Elam is playing as well as advertised for a first round draft pick. Inside linebacker Darryl Smith is stopping the run, and currently leads the Ravens in interceptions. This defense is clearly playing with a chip on their shoulders.
“We want to be a great defense,” Ravens’ cornerback Lardarius Webb noted via Baltimoreravens.com. “We played a great Denver team the first game and Peyton Manning did a great job. We just wanted to show that wasn’t us. We wanted to keep getting better and better.”
Think about is; the Ravens’ defense has been called old, and slow over the past five years when Ray Lewis and Ed Reed were on the roster. Those players are gone, the defense is showing their potential, and getting better every week as the season goes on. This defensive unit will be a long-term problem for the rest of the NFL.
The Ravens are 2-1 on the season, and for the team to do what they did against the Texans without Ray Rice, Dennis Pitta, and Jacoby Jones on offense speaks volumes that they are no where near their peak on that side of the ball as well.